Many people spend considerable time in front of computers, whether for work or leisure. Such tendencies can cause us to spend less time outdoors and more time inside. This blog provides insights into the connection between nature and mental health.
The following are some of the positive effects of spending time in nature:
Nature reduces blood pressure and the body’s production of stress hormones by distracting you from stress.
In addition to reducing stress, being in closer contact with nature reduces emotions of anxiety and boosts self-esteem. Some evidence suggests that exposure to nature decreases feelings of loneliness. This starkly contrasts with how we react in busy, overcrowded cities, which, according to a study, can make us feel lonely.
If you live in a crowded metropolis, visiting your neighbourhood park or a trip to the countryside can be essential for preserving your mental health. Going outdoors can also curb the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, which is a form of depression that often manifests during the colder months.
The great outdoors is the ideal location to unwind from the hectic pace of city living. Mindfulness and visualization exercises can lower your stress and help you relax more.
The 5, 4,3,2,1 grounding technique is a well-suited strategy in natural settings. It asks you to name:
- Five things you can see
- Four things you can touch
- Three things you can hear
- Two things you can smell
- One thing you can taste
Using this grounding technique can improve the level of your awareness and senses. Nothing is better than taking in the sights and sounds of nature to practice this method.
Stress-reducing, energy-boosting, and mood-lifting endorphins are released during vigorous exercise. Outside or in a natural setting is the ideal location for physical activity to reap the maximum benefits.
The oxygen content of outdoor air is typically higher than indoor air and naturally contains less dangerous pollutants. For your body to function, oxygen is essential. Increased oxygen levels in higher-quality air will improve how well your body operates.
Further, it stimulates deeper, more efficient breathing. Whenever we are seated, our breathing becomes shallow and restricted to the upper parts of the lungs. As we stand up and move around outside, our diaphragms expand, allowing us to take in more oxygen. Doing breathing exercises outdoors can help lower stress and anxiety.
One may do a great deal to spend more time outdoors and in contact with nature. Give a few of these a shot, and see what sticks:
- Spend a day trekking in the wilderness or strolling through the forest.
- Create a vegetable garden in your garden or on a nearby allotment.
- Join a community sports team.
- Start frequent jogging or cycling through a neighbouring park.
- Donate to a nearby community project, such as a community garden or charity run.
- Offer your neighbours outdoor services like mowing their grass or walking their dogs.
- Create something artistic with nature, such as a drawing or painting
- Instead of heading to the pub the next time you socialise with friends, propose a picnic or nature walk.
- Spend the weekend camping with friends or family.
- Go out at night and see the stars.
The advantages of spending time in nature for mental health are much more extensive than those listed here. However, it should serve as a gentle reminder of the beauty of Mother Nature and the world beyond our screens, doors, and imaginations. Looking for the best way to deal with mental health? Going outdoors will help.